Posted on 27/02/2014 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
The pint-sized penguin with the big ambition is back, and this time it’s aiming for new heights at the Moomba Birdman Rally on March 9.
Rebecca McIntosh, research scientist at Phillip Island Nature Parks, has bravely volunteered to make the four metre leap into the Yarra in honour of the 32,000 penguins that call Phillip Island home.
Flippers are no barrier for this flightless bird as she prepares to make a big splash with her Birdman craft dubbed ‘Penguin Noodle Sloop’ made from recycled foam pool noodles.
“I’ve dreamed of flying from the moment I was a penguin chick in a burrow,” Rebecca said.
“It’s sink or swim for this little penguin at the Birdman Rally and I’m out to prove that it’s important to aim high, even if you have gravity and a few thousand years of evolution working against you.”
As a wildlife biologist who’s spent years working with seals, Rebecca also has another important message she wants to share.
“All too often in my work I see the effects rubbish can have in our marine environment. Seals and seabirds are easily entangled in discarded plastic or fishing gear, and marine wildlife can ingest plastics - the results can be devastating.”
In the last five years the Wildlife Clinic at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade has assisted over 100 seriously injured animals as a result of water and land pollution. Researchers from Phillip Island Nature Parks also disentangle an average of 11 Australian fur seals a year on research trips to the nearby Seal Rocks colony.
“Reduce, re-use, recycle,” is the big message from this little penguin.
“Let’s work together to help protect our wildlife.”
Fundraising for wildlife
The Phillip Island Nature Parks team has nominated Wildlife Victoria as its charity of choice for this year’s Moomba Birdman Rally. Wildlife Victoria is a not-for-profit wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organisation that receives no government funding.
Contribute to this essential service for Victoria’s wildlife by donating at Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Everyday Hero page for the Birdman Rally 2014. Search for ‘Penguin Noodle Sloop’ under the ‘sponsor a birdman tab’ at everydayhero.com.au/event/birdmanrally2014.
Catch all the thrills and spills of the Moomba Birdman Rally between 12pm and 2pm on Sunday March 9 at Birrarung Marr in Melbourne.